These Sermon Sparks are for your use. Feel free to download, to comment, and to send us your own sermon sparks you’d like to share.
- Ki Tissa
- Achrei Mot
- Pesach doubt
- Pesach – 5th cup
- Behaalotcha (Moses’ leadership)
Spark: On Passover, we recall the 4 words of redemption in the Torah that correspond to the 4 cups of wine we drink. However, there are actually five words of redemption, which should correspond to the fifth cup. The fifth word of redemption is והבאתי – I will bring you [to the land of Israel]. Most Jews in the world today are safe from oppression, discrimination, slavery, etc. But our redemption is not complete until we are brought to Israel. Does redemption only come when we are literally brought to Israel to live there or can we bring ourselves to Israel in different ways? What still needs to be brought to Israel to make our redemption complete?
Spark: Taking the Jewish people from Egypt purposefully put the Jewish people into situations that would be incredibly challenging. This is to teach us that any worthwhile, meaningful endeavor, like taking the Jews from Egypt or creating a State of Israel, will by nature come with significant challenge. We are called to face these challenges with courage and integrity.
Spark: The Omer represents the process of Jewish history unfolding. It is a time we journeyed as a people from slavery, to freedom, and to being in covenant with God. But the Omer journey didn’t just happen in the Torah: important events in our history and of Israel happen during this auspicious time. It is a time of appreciating that journey, and looking forward to the next step.
Spark: According to the Torah, Israel does not belong to the Jewish People. Our presence there is contingent on our moral behavior. We must not take the land for granted and remember that our presence there is not guaranteed.
Spark: It is easy to become accustomed or numbed to the awe that is the existence of a State of Israel. We must find ways to not lose sight of its tremendous importance.
Spark: Israel is the place where Jewish physicality and spirituality meet.
Is Peace Always the Ideal?
Spark: Aaron is one of the most beloved figures in Jewish tradition, especially because of his dedication to creating peace. Peacemaking is hard. Aaron has many successes in this area. However, like all biblical leaders, his successes are not universal. In this week’s parasha, we seee how complicated peacemaking is and how sometimes we need to step back and examine our motives for creating peace.
Spark: Israel faces many threats. External threats often bring us together. Internal threats, however, can rip us apart. At times when internal conflict rages, our natural inclination is to distance ourselves. However, those are actually the times to draw closest. To Full Post
Spark: What happens when an ideal fails to live up to our dreams? The Torah describes the Nazir, someone who removes himself from society in order to be holy. However, the Torah says that the Nazir has committed a sin. That sin is a refusal to engage in the problems of society and to try and make them better. To Full Post